Thursday, July 12, 2007

"The one, true church, the one that Jesus Himself founded"

Dear Friends,

Last week, Pope Benedict loosened restrictions on the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. People were just begining to discuss why he would boost the Latin Mass when he made yet another announcement. This week he reaffirmed to the world that the Catholic Church is the one, true church, the one that Jesus Himself founded.

As expected, this declaration flamed discussions regarding Vatican II and its intended reforms causing a whirlpool of reactions from both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Fr. Jonathan Morris tries to explain the Pope's intended views and gives a great theological clarification that Pope Benedict has never suggested that non-Catholics are not going to heaven.

In a wonderfully penned blog, Parishworld Theology editor Paul Dion says the Pope is dead-on with his declaration of Church dogma. The question is why do it at this time? Maybe it's part of his "Benedictine Reforms" that are aimed to increase the sense of Roman Catholic identity in the face of the many challenges posed by the modern world. Expect these stories to linger for a while.

And this weekend, the Gospel revolves around the story of the Good Samaritan. So we share with you a couple of wonderful reflections on Sunday's Gospel - one from Fr. Romy Seleccion, M.S. and a Spanish homily by Fr. Roberto Mena, S.T. Another reflection, "GOD IN OUR MIDST - The Good Businessman," looks at this story with a more current view on values in the workplace. Check it out.

In other news this week, a report says the U.S. Catholic Church is quietly entering a new season as the abuse crisis starts to fade. On the whole, it seem U.S. Catholics have been able to rightly separate the failures of church leaders from the teachings of the church. And more good news this week came from a study that show younger voters, especially women, are embracing a pro-life position in surprising numbers. And modern science has a lot to do with it.

We also have several touching conversion stories beginning with Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega's recent transition from Sandinista dictator to devout Catholic. In another story, a prominent leader of the homosexual movement and founder of the leading gay magazine talks about rediscovering God's love and going straight. And we bring you a story about Lady Bird Johnson who passed away this week. The former first lady was an Episcopalian but she strongly supported the Catholic faith of her daughter and grandchildren. She died with a Catholic priest at her bedside.

Parishes should be “center of caring companions” and all of parish life, including the liturgy, should be directed to this end. “How is the Holy Spirit like the fragrance?” tells the story. And "Why Did God Give Us His Word?" We have the article that explains it. And a Pittsburgh priest urges people to "Make Confession a monthly gift to yourself" because Confession sets us free.

Every now and then someone does something so remarkable, and so inspiring, you have to sit up and take notice. That's what happened with Derek Fisher. "He shoots, he scores, Derek Fisher delivers a homily." Check it out. While from the Philippines comes this story of the people from one province who got so fed up with the corruption of their elected officials, they went ahead and elected a Catholic priest as governor!

And we bring you lifestyle News starting with the Top Ten tips on how to buy a used car. And everything you need to know about diabetes, a disese that's affecting over 18 million Americans today.

And how was your week? Have a great and blessed coming week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in chief

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